Category Archives: 4 stars

Inspiration Review & Giveaway

I have been avoiding reading regency stories but when Maria Grace told me the plot of her latest work, I could not resist reading it! Firstly because I was very impressed by the last to books I read from her,  Snowbound at Hartfield and Pemberley: Mr. Darcy’s Dragon, and secondly because what could be more romantic than having an artistic Darcy whose muse is commanded by Elizabeth?

The fact that Darcy was a painter ended up being one of my favourite aspects of this book because if felt completely into character. This book was written from Darcy’s perspective and we could see how his analysis of the world and what surrounded him was influenced by the artist in him. When he stared at people, he did it to study their features, and sometimes got immersed in his own thoughts which also explained his aloofness, so this was definitely one of Maria Grace’s greatest achievements in this book, she brought a new element into the story that felt completely natural. I have loved this Darcy and I’m sure most readers will love him too 🙂

The story is quite short and can be read very quickly so I recommend it to readers who need a quick romantic getaway. It will follow the events of Pride and Prejudice making it a familiar story and therefore very easy to read. The only changes are related to Darcy’s muse which will have an impact on how you see Darcy. I personally would have liked a bigger change in the storyline, so my favourite scene in the book was one involving Darcy and Elizabeth at his studio in Pemberley where they were amongst his paintings, which for obvious reasons, we did not see in Pride and Prejudice. That scene was the best moment in the entire book for me, and I believe it will be for most readers too because in that scene Elizabeth gets to see the real Darcy without any need for words. In one single scene, and by describing his many works and how they evolved, Maria Grace was able to show us exactly how Darcy’s love for Elizabeth grew and how their interactions changed him. It was beautifully done! Plus, his dialogue with Elizabeth got me shivering with excitement, and if there was a book where I got mad at Mrs. Reynolds, this was the one because she interrupted my favourite scene!

Summing up, Maria Grace brought us another beautiful Sweet Tea Novella which I recommend to readers who want a short story to light up their Saturday afternoon. It will be a familiar story which follows canon very closely but adds a trait to Darcy’s character that is hard to resist 🙂

 

You can find Inspiration at:

Amazon.com

Amazon.co.uk

 

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Maria Grace is offering one e-book copy of Inspiration to my readers. To enter the giveaway all you need to do is comment on this post and share your thoughts and opinions with us.

I shared an excerpt of this book on the 28th of February and at the time I had established as deadline for the giveaway the 9th of March, however, my real life got in the way and I could not post the review of the book sooner, so I’m extending the giveaway until the 14th so readers can still comment on both posts.

I hope you can all forgive me for the delay and take advantage of the extension 🙂 There is still time to comment on both posts to have a double entry in the giveaway and winners may be announced on the 15th of March.

Good Luck everyone!

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11 Comments

Filed under 4 stars, Pride and Prejudice

Pride and Proposals – Review & Giveaway

I read Pride and Proposals shortly after it came out in 2015 but never reviewed it because it was a pre-blog read, so when I saw that it had come out in Audible, and that the narrator was Erin Evans-Walker I decided it was time to come back to this story and these characters.

I’m currently not listening as many audiobooks as I used to because I’m sharing the commutes with my husband and I don’t want to neglect him during the 50 minute drive, but I still try to listen to audiobooks when I’m doing chores or cooking. Audiobooks make these tasks more pleasurable and keep me company so I will not give them up that easily. But the fact that I’m listening to fewer audiobooks makes me more selective, and I’m choosing the narrators very carefully now, taking them as much in consideration as I do the authors. Having listened to The Meryton Murders narrated by Erin Evans-Walker made me confident that I would like this narration and I was not wrong. Erin Evans-Walker was the perfect narrator for The Meryton Murders, she was particularly good at narrating a mystery book and that makes me want to hear The Highbury Murders too, even if I’m not much of an Emma fan. Narrators can either make it or break it, and Erin Evans-Walker is certainly talented, particularly in that sub-genre, so I’m convinced to give it a try. But coming back to Pride and Proposals, I believe she has made a very good job and if you do decide to listen to this audiobook you will not regret it. I believe she is more suited for mystery stories, but she was able to differentiate the male and female voices very well, she varies the tone and keeps the readers engaged in the story which is one of the most important aspects of a narration in my opinion. The narration of Pride and Proposals was very agreeable and I will certainly continue to listen to books narrated by Erin Evans-Walker.

Pride and Proposals starts with the Colonel receiving an inheritance that allows him to choose his wife as he pleases, and that happens precisely while he is at Rosings, so he has the freedom to propose to Miss Elizabeth. You are starting to see the outcome, aren’t you? I love stories where Mr. Darcy has a rival, even if that rival is our dear colonel, and I didn’t quite remember the details of this story so my expectation when listening to it this time was very high. This story seemed just perfect for me and I was not overly disappointed because Victoria Kincaid hardly ever disappoints and I did love all the angst this book has, I’m an angst addict after all, but I did find that Elizabeth’s love for Darcy came too late in the book and too suddenly. I would have prefer to see her gradually falling in love for Darcy instead of discovering it only because of her own reaction to a certain situation. This was my main quibble with the book because I love angst, but I prefer when it comes out of the impossibility of our dear couple getting together despite their love. In this case, the angst was all on Darcy’s side, and I do like to see Elizabeth suffer a little too 🙂

I absolutely loved Darcy in this story, he was a true gentleman! He was so caring, protective, understanding and respectful that even I felt bad for all he suffered. He did deserve the ending and I only wished for it to have come sooner for him.

Wickham was a real villain and he also deserved the ending he had, I really enjoyed seeing what Elizabeth did to him, and the reactions that followed were very diverting. Victoria Kincaid is a very good writer and was able to make that particular scene very funny. Despite the context I really laugh out loud and I believe that was also because of the way Erin Evans-Walker narrated this scene. Very well done!

I recommend this book to readers who enjoy a little angst like myself, and who are not bothered by the fact that Elizabeth gets engaged to someone before Darcy. I believe it is important to mention that nothing improper happens between her and her first betrothed, so do not let that influence you. Darcy’s love for Elizabeth is very pure in this book and they do spend a lot of time together, so readers who like Darcy and Elizabeth moments may enjoy this book too.

 

You can find Pride and Proposals at:

Amazon.com

Amazon.co.uk

and on Audible.com

 

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Erin Evans-Walker would like to offer three audiobook copies of Pride and Proposals to my readers, the giveaway is for readers with a US audible account only and will end on the 10th of February. Winners will be announced shortly after that 🙂

To enter the giveaway all you have to do is comment on this post and share your thoughts about this story with us. Please let us know why you like audiobooks and if you’ve ever heard anything narrated by Erin Evans-Walker, we would love to know what you think of her narration 🙂

Please do not forget to check the blog to confirm if you are one of the winners 🙂

Good Luck everyone!

31 Comments

Filed under 4 stars

Recognizing Love

I hadn’t read a book like Recognising Love for some time and I believe this one is perfect for those who are just now starting to read Pride and Prejudice variations, or for those who want to go back to the simplicity of the genre because it is a clear example of a sweet and romantic what if variation. There are no kidnappings, carriage accidents, marriages with other people, time travelling events or anything of the sorts, it starts with only a small difference in the story and focuses on interpersonal relationships with a simplicity that is beautiful!

The story starts at Pemberley when Mr. Darcy finds Elizabeth visiting the estate with Mr. and Mrs Gardiner. The initial chapters of the book give us a glimpse of the several moments and conversations they might have had during those days until Elizabeth receives Jane’s letter, that is when the “what if” enters this story. So, what if Mr. Darcy didn’t let Elizabeth think he had left her because he no longer wanted an association with her? What if he could not bear to see her suffer like that and told her the truth about his intentions to help find Lydia? What if the Gardiner’s, Elizabeth and Mr. Darcy all travelled to London together? What would change if Elizabeth was perfectly aware of Mr. Darcy’s intervention?

After saving Lydia from Wickham, and thinking that by now Elizabeth already loves him, Mr. Darcy proposes for the second time and unlike the Hunsford proposal, this one has a positive outcome. Elizabeth accepts because she believes she will love him with time and is afraid he will not ask a third time, but she is unsure about her feelings and is not able to tell him the truth. From this moment, we will see a lot of Elizabeth’s introspection as she will continuously analyse her own feelings for Mr. Darcy, and that will be the hot topic in the entire novel.

The first part of the book is more slow-paced and I confess that Elizabeth’s uncertainty about her feelings was starting to get to my nerves, especially because I believe that she was already in love with Mr. Darcy at Pemberley, but the second part of the book is more fast paced with several events occurring, including our dear couple coming together to achieve a common goal.

The story becomes more and more appealing to the reader as it progresses and Mr. Darcy’s family becomes a point of interest. I kept thinking what each one of them would do or say, and I was very pleased to see Lady Matlock’s reactions as well as Richard’s and Anne’s. These two were a wonderful surprise and I was happy to see the writer bringing them into the story. Lady Catherine on the other hand was as annoying as she could be, but if it wasn’t for her our dear couple would not have come out of this story with a love so strong, so I have to thank her for that 😉

This book is a clean and very sweet story where Mr. Darcy’s devotion will captivate most readers, he truly is the best of men, and readers who enjoy sweet romances will certainly fall for him 🙂 Recognising Love is proof that simple changes in the story are enough to make readers enjoy the book and I recommend it to those looking for a romance without major angst moments.

 

You can find Recognising Love at:

Amazon.com

Amazon.co.uk

and on Kindle Unlimited

 

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Lizzy Brandon would like to offer one e-book copy of Recognising Love to one of my readers, the giveaway is international will end on the 15th of January. Winners will be announced shortly after that 🙂

To enter the giveaway all you have to do is comment on this post and share your thoughts about this story with us.

Please do not forget to check the blog to confirm if you were the winner 🙂

23 Comments

Filed under 4 stars

The Taming of Elizabeth Review & Giveaway

I could not have been more excited about The Taming of Elizabeth when I heard of it because The Taming of the Shrew is my favorite work from Shakespeare and I have loved all adaptations I’ve seen of it. I always saw similarities between Elizabeth and Katherine and I certainly could picture Darcy as Petruchio, so a mash up of Taming of the Shrew with Pride and Prejudice sounded quite interesting and the perfect plot!

I wasn’t wrong about that and the premise is indeed very appealing but Darcy wasn’t as similar to Petruchio as I was expecting, and even if he was the reason why Elizabeth ended up moderating her behavior, he didn’t take an active part in that change. I thought I would see a stronger and more stubborn Darcy who would stand up against Elizabeth’s wild spirit in the hopes of taming her, but instead he was very caring and accepting of Elizabeth’s shenanigans. In fact, he was more like Darcy then Petruchio, so I think most of my readers will love that aspect, but I think the author missed an opportunity by not making him more like Petruchio.

Elizabeth’s character may be controversial in this book because she does tend to overreact and get a little aggressive but I was not affected by that and if I had to choose a favorite aspect from this book it would be Elizabeth’s character. We often see authors describing Elizabeth’s wit and narrating how Darcy fell in love with her because of that, but Cinnamon Worth did what very few are able to do, she actually made Elizabeth witty! The author doesn’t describe this aspect of her personality, she shows it to the reader through Elizabeth’s thinking, through her speech and through her actions. Elizabeth really demonstrates she has an analytical thinking by paying attention to details and taking elations based on those observations and I really loved this in the book.

In The Taming of Elizabeth we can see why the characters are falling in love with one another, it’s a feeling based on respect and I would have loved it even more if we had more interactions between these two characters. That would enhance our reading experience and make us even more involved with the romance. Another aspect I enjoyed was the cleverness with which the author created the misunderstandings that ultimately lead to the HEA, they are believable and mature.

It was also interesting to see Elizabeth as the oldest sister, I didn’t think about that detail before reading the book, but the twist was as necessary as it was fresh. Also there are several humourous moments in the book that made it an agreeable and light story. It is not novella size, but it is not very long so you will be able to read it in one day, especially because it is very fast paced and engaging. I recommend it for readers looking for something a little different from the usual variations 🙂

 

You can find The Taming of Elizabeth at:

Amazon.com

Amazon.co.uk


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Because it’s Christmas time Cinnamon Worth would like to offer my readers not only two copies of The Taming of Elizabeth, but also three copies of any of her other books. The winners will be able to choose the book they would like to receive and if you don’t know what other books she has released, you can find that information below 🙂 Read the blurbs, look at the covers and let us know which one you would rather receive on this giveaway and why. All comments will get an entrance in the giveaway which is international and open until the end of the year. The winners will be announced in the beginning of 2019 🙂

Below you can also see information about Betrothals & Betrayals which will be released in January but that is already in pre-sale on Amazon. You can also choose that book to be sent to you once it comes out, so don’t forget to check it as well 🙂

 

For sale at Amazon.com for 3.99$

162 pages

Blurb: Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice meets Shakespeare’s The Taming of the Shrew. The Bennets’ first born child, Elizabeth Bennet, was overindulged and had no role model to guide her in controlling her temper. Now she has gained quite the reputation. Mr. Bennet must to go to extreme means to force his eldest to consider love. But with Elizabeth’s history, who would consider approaching her?

 

For sale at Amazon.com for 2.99$

365 pages

Blurb: A witty and cleverly crafted Pride and Prejudice Variation, Absurdities and Assumptions retells the story of the courtship between Elizabeth Bennet and Fitzwilliam Darcy. This classic couple’s romance is shaken off course when, shortly after leaving Hertfordshire, Darcy receives word that one of the Bennet sisters is engaged to the obsequious Mr. Collins. Darcy, a rich and powerful landowner, knows that Elizabeth is not a suitable match but, having already lost the battle with Cupid, he finds himself rushing back to the countryside. He is relieved to discover that it is Mary Bennet who is destined to become Mrs. Collins. But his path to happiness is still far from assured. Darcy may have resolved his internal struggle to accept Elizabeth’s as she is, but he must now overcome a rival and his own inability to interpret events around him. Read as all of Jane Austen’s favorite characters overcome hilarious misunderstandings and mishaps. Assumptions and Absurdities is a Regency Romance sure to entertain.

 

For sale at Amazon.com for 3.99$

338 pages

Blurb: Charles Dickens meets Jane Austen in this retelling of the historical classic, Pride and Prejudice. Jane and Elizabeth Bennet are daughters of a country squire hoping to find love. Charles Bingley and Fitzwilliam Darcy are best friends and two of the most eligible bachelors to have visited the small town of Meryton in years. While this quartet struggles to find happiness and romance within the confines of Regency Era England, those who serve them struggle to survive. All the while, an evil sociopath lurks in the shadows impacting all those with whom he comes in contact. How those spared from this destructive force react to those who are less fortunate will reveal the virtuous from the apathetic. A portrait of the dichotomy between the wealthy and the poor, Courtship and Corruption, paints life using every available shade of emotional color.

 

For sale at Amazon.com for 3.99$

212 pages

Blurb: A sweet, Regency era romance, Deception & Debauchery, is a variation of Pride and Prejudice, the classic Jane Austen novel – George Wickham, a widower with a penchant for gambling, women and alcohol, has recently gained his freedom and fortune. In an effort to gain respectability, he intends to acquire a country estate in Hertfordshire. He soon finds himself enamored with Elizabeth Bennet and developing a friendship with Charles Bingley, two people who are very important to his childhood rival, Fitzwilliam Darcy. When Darcy discovers that Wickham is worming his way into the lives of those in Hertfordshire, he will go to shocking lengths to protect them.

 

On pre-sale at Amazon.com for 4.99$

Number of pages to be confirmed

Blurb: A Pride and Prejudice variation, set primarily in Derbyshire, this Regency Era romance explores how the destiny of Jane Austen’s characters will be fulfilled even when all of the odds are stacked against them.

After a mysterious accident leads to their father’s death, the future for the Bennet girls seems bleak. Elizabeth Bennet finds work in Ramsgate, and one blustery morning, chance brings her together with Georgiana Darcy, a young, wealthy, orphaned girl. When Elizabeth saves her new friend from ruin, she sets off a course of events that alters not only her own life, but the lives of those she cherishes.

Fitzwilliam Darcy was looking for a wife, not love. He had everything he needed to be happy. A wife would provide him with a heir, and if he was lucky, she would not interfere too greatly in his life. Then, fate put Elizabeth Bennet in his path — destroying his tranquility. Now, in addition to trying to find a bride, he must deal with a stubborn, impertinent, troublemaker who doesn’t seem to understand her place. Will Elizabeth destroy his chance at happiness, or will she be making of it?

 

Good Luck everyone!


 

33 Comments

Filed under 4 stars, JAFF

Caroline – Review, Excerpt & Giveaway

Hello everyone,

Did you ever think about what was Miss Bingley’s reaction to Darcy’s engagement? Can you imagine what it must have been like to realise everything she fought for during the last years of her life had been for nothing? What about her future? Did she ever get married? Or ended up an old spinster? Did she let go of her feelings of superiority towards the Bennet sisters?

Sue Barr clearly thought about all these questions and wrote a delicious novel describing Caroline Bingley’s life after the double engagement of Darcy and Bingley 🙂

I was never a fan of Caroline Bingley, but lately I find stories about her quite interesting and Sue Barr definitely made me want to read more about Caroline. In fact, there is so much potential about Miss Bingley’s character that I wonder why we don’t have more stories about her, Sue Barr clearly saw all this potential and used it in an exceptional manner.

Caroline is a romance whose main character is Caroline Bingley but it isn’t just a book about a secondary character of Pride & Prejudice, it is a book about second chances, lessons learnt and personal growth. This story tells us how Caroline took the news that shattered her life and how she moved on, but also how others continued to view her and react to her actions. These two aspects made the book very real because life makes us who we are, it shapes our behaviours and personalities, and some events may alter us into someone else, but it doesn’t erase who we were and the perception others have of us. That perception will only change if we change ourselves and if our new behaviours are different from what they used to be, and that is what happens to Miss Bingley in this book,she is brought to life as an imperfect human being who is forced to grow with life’s blows.

But as I mentioned earlier, this is a romance, so it’s not all about inner growth. Caroline’s love interest in this book will be Lord Nathan..err..I mean Mr. Kerr..or shall I say both? Let’s just say you would never picture Caroline with someone with this profession, but neither would you imagine someone with this profession exactly like him. I did like to know why he chose it though, it made me understand why someone with that background and personality ended up as a vicar. He is a charming man, and should I say too good for Caroline? Or is that my prejudice speaking? He is indeed an interesting character and I loved his interactions with Caroline but I would have prefered for them to have a different ending… don’t worry, there is a HEA, I would just prefer it if it wasn’t so perfect.

If you want a secondary character story which is fast to read and a page turner, this book is for you! I’m sure you’ll enjoy it between two ODC books 🙂

You can find this book at:

Amazon.com

Amazon.co.uk

And if you want to know more about it, you still have the blurb and an excerpt below.

 

 

Whatever happened to Caroline Bingley after her brother and unrequited love interest married a Bennet sister? Join me in this story of redemptive love and the healing of broken dreams.

Caroline Bingley, beyond frustrated with her brother, Charles and Mr. Darcy both proposing to the Bennet sisters, dreads their upcoming nuptials. For three years, her sole focus has been on attaining a marriage proposal from one Fitzwilliam Darcy of Pemberley, only to be foiled by a country miss with ‘fine eyes’.  Adrift and not sure of her place in life, she meets the mysterious and devastatingly handsome Lord Nathan, who equally vexes and intrigues her.

Lord Nathan Kerr, third in line to a Dukedom, had a well-earned reputation as a Rake. He cast all that and his noble title aside to become Mr. Darcy’s vicar in Kympton, finding contentment in leading his small flock and doing the Lord’s work. His plan for a quiet, country life is thrown into upheaval when he meets the fiery Miss Bingley. Can he reconcile his rising desire for the spoiled miss with how a vicar’s wife ‘should’ behave?

 

 

Good day, Rita, and thank you for hosting this excerpt post for my latest release, Caroline, Pride & Prejudice Continued… Book One. Today, I am sharing a post that reveals a slightly different side to Caroline, where we learn a little about how she discovered her own passion for music. I hope your readers enjoy this glimpse into Caroline.

“Thank you, Miss Bingley. Would you like to play something as well?”

“I’d love to. Do you have any requests?” Out of habit, she looked toward the fireplace where Darcy stood with the Duke. Odd how she still deferred to him, even when she knew he held no regard for her, if he ever had at all.

“Do you know Mozart?” The dulcet tones of Lord Nathan made her stomach quiver. He was standing not more than three feet from her.

She nodded and took her seat.

“Do you need any sheet music, Miss Bingley?” Georgiana asked.

“No thank you, Miss Darcy. I’ll play a piece I’m familiar with.”

Lord Nathan escorted Georgiana back to her seat while she settled at the pianoforte, cleared her mind and began to play Eine Klein Nachtmusik. As her fingers flew over the keyboard, she heard the music exactly as she had the first time she attended a concert with her father in Edinburgh. In her mind violins and cellos kept perfect harmony, transporting the music to unheard of heights.

To think, Caro, Mozart t’was but a boy when he wrote this music. Can you believe he started writin’ when he was a wee lad, three years of age? There’s nothin’ you can’t do if you set your mind to it.

Her father’s rough northern accent held awe at what was achievable and she’d never forgotten that night. It changed her whole life and from that moment, music was her passion.

When she finished to polite applause and took a seat in a nearby chair, Louisa took to the pianoforte and played and sang a popular piece. She didn’t have a strong voice, but it was enjoyable. From her vantage point across the room, Caroline watched as Lord Nathan conversed with Georgiana. He bent his head in conversation with her, his broad shoulders turned slightly toward her. He intrigued her greatly, this man of mystery. He was exceedingly handsome, to be sure, but other than that she knew nothing about him. Not a whisper of where he’d been for the past three years.

Georgiana’s soft laugh brought her attention back to her and Lord Nathan. She longed to have him give her the same undivided attention. Evidently sensing her study of him, he shifted his gaze toward her. Quickly she looked down, but almost against her will, she raised her eyes and found him watching her intently. She couldn’t look away, although her mind and senses urged her to. As if he knew her thoughts, like words being displayed on parchment, his mouth quirked at one corner and he inclined his head.

Her face flamed and prickles of heat threatened to turn her cheeks an unbecoming pink. As a precautionary measure, she snapped open her fan. The gold pomander on her wrist swayed with each flick of her wrist, setting off a pleasant aroma of her favorite rose water. She allowed the familiar scent to soothe her. It wouldn’t do for Lord Nathan to know he discomposed her.

 

Sue Barr resides in beautiful Southwestern Ontario with her retired Air Force hubby, two sons and their families. She’s also an indentured servant to three cats and has been known to rescue a kitten or two, or three…in an attempt to keep her ‘cat-lady-in-training’ status current. Although, she has deviated from appointed path and rescued a few dogs as well.

Sue is a member of Romance Writers of America and their affiliate chapter, Love, Hope and Faith as well as American Christian Fiction Writers.

For more information about her other books, visit her website: http://www.suebarrauthor.com/ of follow her on the below social media:

Facebook , Twitter , Goodreads, Pinterest

 

If this review enticed you and you liked the excerpt, please follow the blog tour for more information on this book. This is just the second stop and there is still much, much more to come 🙂

March 12 / My Jane Austen Book Club/Launch Post & Giveaway

March 13/ From Pemberley to Milton/ Book Review & Excerpt & Giveaway

March 14/ More Agreeably Engaged/Author Spotlight & Giveaway

March 15/ Every Savage Can Dance/ Excerpt Post & Giveaway

March 16/ Just Jane 1813/ Guest Post & Giveaway

March 17/ Babblings of a Bookworm/ Vignette Post & Giveaway

March 18/ My Love for Jane Austen/ Excerpt Post & Giveaway

March 19/ Every Savage Can Dance/ Book Review & Giveaway

March 20/ Austenesque Reviews/ Guest Post & Giveaway

March 21/ My Vices and Weaknesses/ Book Review & Giveaway

March 22 / Savvy Verse & Wit/ Guest Post & Giveaway

March 23 /Diary of an Eccentric/Book Review & Giveaway

March 24/ So Little Time…/ Excerpt Post & Giveaway

March 25/ Obsessed with Mr. Darcy/ Book Review & Giveaway

March 26/ Of Pens & Pages/ Book Review & Giveaway

 

Sue Barr is offering in this blog tour several copies of Caroline and some goodies as well!!!

Three winners will receive a paperback copy of “Caroline” and a Jane Austen Journal and three separate winners will receive an ebook copy of this book. All you have to do is click on this link and enter the giveaway through Rafflecopter.

All giveaways are open to international winners, so good luck everyone 🙂

 

 

14 Comments

Filed under 4 stars, JAFF, Pride and Prejudice

Snowbound at Hartfield Review & Giveaway

snowbound-at-hartfield-ebook4 stars

Snowbound at Hartfield is a crossover of books and characters that I never thought possible, but maybe the issue is with my imagination because Maria Grace made these characters interactions completely plausible and interesting.

Pride & Prejudice will meet Persuasion and Emma when both Mr.Darcy’s party and Sir Walter Elliot’s are trapped in an inn during a snowstorm without any rooms vacant. Luckily this inn is close to Hartfield, and Mr Knightley, who is Mr. Darcy’s old friend, invites them all to stay with him and his family until the storm abates.

It is due to these circumstances that we will have in the same house Mr. Darcy, Elizabeth, Mr. Bennet, Col. Fitzwilliam, Sir Walter Elliot, Miss Elizabeth Elliot, Mr. Knightley, Mrs Emma Knightley and Mr. Woodhouse. I’m sure you’re starting to imagine how much fun it will be to have Mr. Bennet and Sir Walter Elliot in close proximity! But Sir Walter will not even be the only person who will contribute to the amusement of Mr. Bennet, the Knightley’s neighbours are, after all, perfect to make sport of, and Mrs. Elton will always be a source of amusement for some and chagrin to others wherever she goes.

The originality of bringing all these characters together and developing a very different and unexpected couple has to be praised! The romantic couple in Snowbound at Hartfield is one I had never seen portrayed and would never think of, but Maria Grace made it work by showing us a deeper and darker side of these characters, one that is not often shown to us and will make us think of what is beneath the character’s usual façade. In fact, she picked up one of my least favourite secondary characters from Austen, and made her the love interest of one of my favourite characters succeeding to make me wish they would find happiness together.That wasn’t an easy task, and I still can not say Miss Elliot is a favourite of mine, but she deed redeem herself in this book, and Maria Grace’s approach to this character was remarkable.

The love story between Col. Fitzwilliam and Elizabeth Elliot will be very different from what we are used to, but they will be presented to us as two broken souls who can mend each other, and we can not stop thinking that they will do very well together.

Elizabeth Darcy and Emma Knightley are secondary characters in this story but it was very amusing and fun to see them described as matrons!

Snowbound at Hartfield is a creative, fun and romantic novella which will fill our hearts with the hope that it is never too late to find happiness. I recommend this book to any Austen fan who is looking for a secondary character story to read. This story is a quick read that will bring several of Austen’s characters into a new light, it is perfect to be read between two Darcy and Elizabeth centered books, and I’m sure any Austen aficionado will enjoy it.

 

You can find Snowbound at Hartfield at :

Amazon.com

Amazon.co.uk

giveaway-time

Maria Grace has offered a giveaway of an ebook of “Snowbound at Hartfield for my From Pemberley to Milton readers.  To enter it please leave a comment on this post until the 1st of March, and if you want to double your chances of winning, comment the interview with Maria Grace posted on the 20th of February.

The winners will be announced in the beginning of March. To make sure you receive the winners announcement notification please follow From Pemberley to Milton to make sure you receive an e-mails every time a new post is published. I would hate to see someone didn’t win the book because they missed the announcement.

Good luck everyone!

17 Comments

Filed under 4 stars, Persuasion, Pride and Prejudice

Common Ground

common ground4 stars

Hello everyone,

Common Ground is a continuation of the BBC 2004 adaptation of North and South, and starts right after the epic train station scene. As always I was thrilled to read more about the trip to Milton and John and Margaret’s lives, especially because Common Ground proved to be a very balanced paced book which kept my attention from the beginning until the end.

Unlike many novels that are mainly focused on John and Margaret’s relationship, or the working classes’ struggles, Common Ground actually gives a lot of relevance to the difficulties faced by the masters, namely the effects speculation had on their business. I personally thought it was interesting to see the author explore the topic of speculation itself instead of just mentioning it, the historical research behind this idea and its transposition to the book made this a very unique variation. Also, the fact that it’s not the workers but the masters facing difficulties made this story particularly different and refreshing as in a twist of events the masters need to come together and unite their efforts to save their business, with Thornton assuming a main role, of course :). I will not go into much detail because I don’t want to spoil the book, but it is indeed a very different storyline.

I highly appreciated the focus on these topics but on the other hand I also felt that the moments between John and Margaret were not enough, and I did miss the romance between these two characters. Even so, the epilogue was satisfying and I liked seeing what happened to the cotton mills and our beloved characters, especially John Thornton 🙂

Another change in this book was Hanna Thornton’s character who was not portrayed as an overbearing mother and cold distant mother in law. Curiously enough, in Common Ground the anti-hero role is delegated to Fanny who is shown to be an irrational girl posing many problems to our couple.

Margaret’s family was not the cause for many troubles, but they were against the wedding and even though this is something I would expect to see in a N&S variation, it doesn’t happen very frequently, so once again Elaine Owen surprised me on the creativity of her plot and character development. And speaking of characters, Dixon is absent during the majority of the book and is only briefly mentioned in the end of it, isn’t that different? Honestly, I’m not very fond of this character, so when at 60% of the book I realized she was not there, I truly liked it 🙂

This was the first North and South book Elaine Owen released, and I hope she continues to write books on this category because Common Ground was indeed a different and original book with a lot of creativity in the narrative.

 

Common Ground is available at:

Amazon.com – Common Ground

Amazon.co.uk – Common Ground

 

Elaine Owen is stopping by at From Pemberley to Milton next week for an interview on her P&P and N&S works, so if your curious, don’t miss the opportunity to get to know her a little better.

 

10 Comments

Filed under 4 stars, North and South

Rainy Days Review & Giveaway

51g0Z47yIvL__SX331_BO1,204,203,200_4 stars

Rainy days was released in October 2009, so I am probably one of the few people who have only read it this year. I don’t know how this happened, but the first book I’ve read from Lory Lilian was not rainy Days but Sketching Mr. Darcy, and after reading that one I could not wait to read more books of this author, so Remembrance of the Past followed, and now, at last, Rainy Days.

It is curious how one rainy morning can change an entire story.

In this book Mr. Darcy and Elizabeth are out of doors when a storm hits the area and they are forced to take shelter in a cottage in the woods. The time they spend together is enough for Elizabeth to start questioning Mr. Wickham’s attitudes and Mr. Darcy’s character, and we all know how this can change everything 🙂

When we think of this couple stranded in a cabin in the middle of the woods, we immediately think of what may happen there, and I have to say that I loved that Lory Lilian managed to get our characters to always respect propriety. Their scenes together were intense but clean, and that is exactly how I like them.

The characters remained true to themselves and their arguments were believable and a joy to read. I particularly liked seeing Mr. Darcy’s temper as many times we are presented with a perfect Mr. Darcy, when in fact he is not perfect. For me, his imperfections are what make him perfect, so I loved to see that he kept them in the beginning of the book.

However, the arguments and angst do not take a great part of the book and Mr. Darcy and Elizabeth come to an understanding early in the story. From that moment on, we will see Mr. Darcy as the perfect gentleman courting his fiancée. I love books with lots of Darcy and Elizabeth moments and this book certainly has them, but being an angst addict, I would prefer to have seen more angst and conflict in the remaining of book. Readers who love romance and lots of Darcy/Elizabeth moments will certainly love this book though!

Of course that given my tastes in JAFF, one of my favorite moments of the book was their fight after Wickham’s remarks. I believe Lory Lilian did an exceptional job in this scene because it is very real, and it reflects much of our behaviors with our loved ones. Most of the times we just need reassurances that the other person loves us, but somehow they cannot give them, as they also need that from our side; instead we hurt each other with remarks that are only said out of pain. I believe Lory Lilian was very good at transposing that into this specific scene and that was something that captivated me.

I’ve mentioned a lot of romance but the book is not just about that, it has several funny moments. I personally adore reading “dimples is good” coming out of Becky’s mouth and consider the way Caroline Bingley discovered about Mr. Darcy’s engagement absolutely hilarious!

I’ve read this book with a 7 year delay, but I will not commit the same error with the recently released sequel The Rainbow Promise, that one I will read as soon as I can, as this is definitely a story and a group of characters whose story we need to follow up.

 

You can find Rainy Days at:

Amazon.com – Rainy Days

Amazon.co.uk – Rainy Days

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***It’s Giveaway time!!!***

That’s right, this review brings along 2 eboks that Lory Lilian would like to offer to From Pemberley to Milton’s readers.

You can choose to receive either a copy of Rainy Days or a copy of it’s sequel The Rainbow Promise, which has recently been released. All you need to do is comment this post and let us know which one you would like to receive and why.

If you are curious about the sequel, don’t forget to visit us next Thursday for an excerpt and another chance to win one of the e-books.

The giveaway is international and is open until the 12th of June.

Good luck everyone!!!

26 Comments

Filed under 4 stars, Pride and Prejudice

Hope for Mr. Darcy

HFMDE-Cover4 stars

Hope for Mr. Darcy is more than an Austen inspired romance, it is a book that will lead us in a journey of hope and belief in something grander than ourselves.

The entire book will use metaphors to show the reader that we all have a place in the world, a role to fulfill before leaving this plain of existence, and that love is the right inducement to make us choose a fulfilling life.

After reading Mr. Darcy’s letter, Elizabeth falls terribly ill and in her delirious state writes Mr. Darcy a letter that will give him the hope he thought was lost. She loses conscience and calls for Mr. Darcy who will be at her side during those terrifying hours. While Mr. Darcy is at the Hunsford Parsonage by her side, Elizabeth remains in a delirious state and her mind takes her to a garden where she finds Mr. Darcy. The time they spend together at the garden (in Elizabeth’s mind because in fact they remain at the parsonage) will change Elizabeth’s perception of Mr. Darcy and of her role in life.

The belief in something grander than ourselves is a vast part of this book which has a big religious component, so readers need to be aware of this aspect when reading the book. It requires either the belief in God or an open spirit to truly get immersed in Hope for Mr. Darcy, but if you can accept the premise, than you will enjoy it immensely. I know I did.

The book is a clean romance which is something I always appreciate, and has some minor twists in the minor characters that I have also enjoyed; Mr. Darcy’s kindness towards Mary was interesting and as we rarely see these two characters talk it was a nice addition; and Lydia’s reaction towards Wickham was without a doubt a refreshing change.

Mrs. Ellsworth also provided me great pleasure in what concerns Caroline Bingley and Mr. Collins, but even though Mr. Collins deserved what he was given, I confess I started to feel sorry for Caroline… maybe she will find her own happiness in the next books of the trilogy.

Hope for Mr. Darcy is the first volume of the Hope Series Trilogy, a Regency variation series focused on Mr. Darcy, Colonel Fitzwilliam, and Georgiana Darcy and from I could tell from the first volume, the trilogy will not be composed by separate stories, but the continuation of the story under the perspective of another character. The transition between the books is extremely well done, to the point of frustrating me to have to wait a few months to see what Mr. Darcy will find in Liverpool 😉

The ending of the book was very interesting as the roles got reversed, and Darcy gives Col. Fitzwilliam hope the exact same way that he had received it from his cousin in the beginning of the book.

Col. Fitzwilliam’s love life caught my attention from the beginning of the book, and I was enjoying immensely to follow this side story until I realized that I would not actually see the outcome in Hope for Mr. Darcy, but in Hope for Col. Fitzwilliam, so I’m quite eager to see how his story will unfold and how he will overcome the obstacles he will face. I am not sure yet of what the author prepared for Georgiana, but I already know I will like the good Colonel’s story 🙂

Until the next book is released we can dream about Mr. Darcy’s most common words:

You are my love. My life. You are the love of my life

 

You can find Hope for Mr. Darcy in:

Amazon.com – Hope for Mr. Darcy

Amazon.uk – Hope For Mr. Darcy (Hope Series Trilogy Book 1)

13 Comments

Filed under 4 stars, Pride and Prejudice

Sufficient Encouragement Review & Guest Post

SE final 44 stars

What if during her stay at Netherfield, Elizabeth heard Mr. Darcy praise her fines eyes and decided to change her attitude towards him hoping he would not interfere in Jane and Bingley’s relationship?

This premise doesn’t really tell us much about the book because that is just the start of a roller coster of changes that will occur in this Pride and Prejudice variation.
We will see a conniving and intelligent Mr. Wickham get his way in a very different approach that will get us confused in the beginning, and angry in the end as we realize he is indeed a wolf in sheep’s clothing. I know Mr. Wickham is always hateful, but in this book he has a strategy I had never seen before: he praises Mr. Darcy’s qualities and becomes a master of manipulation that not even Elizabeth’s wit uncovers.

I enjoyed the witty debates between Elizabeth and Mr. Darcy, I always like to see a fight of wits and that is what Rose Fairbanks gave us in this book, but their relationship was not the aspect I enjoyed the most in this book. The secondary characters were my favourite, which is good, because they will return in August with Rose Fairbank’s new book.

Caroline Bingley was a pleasant surprise as we have a change to see her beneath her cover, and we realise the snobbish woman we know is in fact a broken-hearted woman trying hard to adapt and to feel integrated in society. She reveals herself to be a kind person who is willing to help others achieve their HEA, and I hope she achieves her own with the most unexpected love interest.

Mary was another surprise. I never gave her much credit until I started seeing many interesting developments in JAFF, and this book has done it once more. Mary is much similar to Elizabeth than one might think, and I could see her gain her own space in this story. She didn’t turned out to be as important as I would imagine, but I enjoyed her character very much.

Apart from the minor characters I’ve mentioned, and others such as Arlington and Lady Belinda, one of the things I enjoyed the most about this book was reading about the mills, about the workers fight for a better life, self made man, and the changes in the northern society.  The historic input in this book was clearly and added value, and even if circumstances are different, I could not stop thinking about the influence North and South might have had in the construction of this story, and that alone made me smile.

 

Sufficient Encouragement is available at:

Amazon.com – Sufficient Encouragement: A Pride and Prejudice Variation

Amazon.co.uk – Sufficient Encouragement: A Pride and Prejudice Variation (When Love Blooms Book 1)

Amazon.fr –Sufficient Encouragement: A Pride and Prejudice Variation (When Love Blooms Book 1) (English Edition)

 

I hope you have enjoyed the review of Sufficient Encouragement, and if it left you eager to read more about this story, I have good news 🙂 Today I’m not just posting the review, I’m also receiving Rose Fairbanks as a guest to talk about Elizabeth’s growing feelings for Mr. Darcy.

Without further ado, I will let you enjoy it 🙂

 

*** Guest Post***

lyme park a.k.a PemberleyMr. Darcy without Pemberley?

Now, don’t be alarmed, the Mr. Darcy of Sufficient Encouragement still has Pemberley and all his wealth from Austen’s original. In fact, he is a silent financial partner in several mills in the North owned by Bingley and also owns several colleries. But we never see Pemberley. Or even his London house. So, it has no bearing at all on what changes Elizabeth’s opinion of him.

Instead, Elizabeth slowly sees the gentler side of Darcy over a course of a few weeks instead of two days. Early in the story, Darcy asks Elizabeth to correspond with Georgiana. Instead of staying in London, Darcy and Bingley soon return to Netherfield. Georgiana accompanies them, as well as Darcy’s cousin, Lord Arlington. Elizabeth can soon see that Darcy is a beloved brother and cousin, as well as a steadfast friend to Bingley.

One morning, they unexpectedly meet in the woods. But it is not a romantic rendevous. Separately, they stumble across a pair of tenant boys that need their help. One fell and hurt his leg and sent his brother to get help, who then got lost. Darcy and Lizzy are the perfect team reacting quickly to the crisis. When all is settled, and both boys are safe at home, a beautiful scene does unfold between Darcy and Lizzy…but she’s already more than half in love with him by then.

So what is it that makes Lizzy love Darcy?

In Austen’s original, she claims to never want to see him again then is forced to go to Pemberley. While there she hears of how excellent of a master, landlord, and brother he is. Then, moments later she runs into him, and he treats her aunt and uncle with great civility. He calls the next day with his sister, proving his manners can be good on more than just one occasion. Elizabeth and Mrs. Gardiner return the call the next day, and Elizabeth briefly gets to speak with Darcy, but not privately. Who knows what might have developed after that, for the next day Elizabeth gets a letter from Jane about Lydia’s elopement. At the very moment, Darcy arrives at the Inn. During their conversation, Elizabeth feels her loss. She certainly loves him by then.

But was it just the effect of two days? We all know she jokes with Jane and says it was after seeing Pemberley’s grounds, but that is clearly just a joke. I’ve heard critics say she loved him for his wealth. And I’ve heard many fans say that seeing Darcy at Pemberley in the role of master was critical. Since I’m leaving out Darcy’s earthly belongings in this story, it must be clear that I don’t think they had much sway over Elizabeth.

Instead, I think what affected Elizabeth the most, was seeing Darcy still cared for her.

 

“Such a change in a man of so much pride exciting not only astonishment but gratitude— for to love, ardent love, it must be attributed; and as such its impression on her was of a sort to be encouraged, as by no means unpleasing, though it could not be exactly defined.”

 

I also think a theme important in the novel is the return of romantic feelings. I think after reading Darcy’s letter, and seeing that Darcy was not dishonorable, and therefore worthy of her hand, Elizabeth’s feelings began to change. She would not, however, call it love when she believed he no longer loved her, and she thought they would never meet again. Dear Charlotte had the right of it with this statement:

 

“We can all begin freely— a slight preference is natural enough; but there are very few of us who have heart enough to be really in love without encouragement.”

 

And such is the case in Sufficient Encouragement, as the story begins with Elizabeth overhearing Darcy admiring her eyes. Of course, it’s not all a bed of roses. She does not welcome his attentions at first and later doubts his feelings are sincere, leaving her to feel all the more hurt for amending her own feelings. Like her Pride and Prejudice counterpart, my Elizabeth realizes once she’s set on the path of loving Darcy, she can’t shake it even when she fears it’s unreturned. And like Austen’s Elizabeth, mine comes to a moment where she finds the necessary courage to declare her feelings to Darcy.

But Pemberley? She’s really only interested in it for the sake of “privacy” with her husband.

Thanks for having me, Rita! I would love to know what readers think about when Elizabeth began to fall in love with Darcy. What was it that pushed her over the edge?

***Author Bio***

Rose Fairbanks hears book characters talk in her head. They whisper to her of a time when the sun never set on the British Empire. More than having a love story for the ages, these characters face struggles inspired by historical events such as market crashes, Napoleon, embargoes, Luddites, the Year Without a Summer and more. Merging historical research with the timelessness of Jane Austen, Rose currently has ten Pride and Prejudice variations published with several releases planned for 2016 as well as an original Regency Romance series in the works.

Rose proudly admits her Darcy obsession and addictions to reading, chocolate, and sweet tea. Always in the mood for a healthy debate, she also dearly loves to laugh. Having completed a BA in history in 2008, she plans to complete her master’s studies…someday. At the moment, having a career combining her life-long interest in history and research with her love for Jane Austen and the Regency Era consumes all of her professional time. When not writing or reading, Rose runs after her two young children, ignores housework, and profusely thanks her husband for doing all the dishes and laundry.

You can connect with Rose on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, and her blog: http://rosefairbanks.com

***Blog Tour Schedule***

Daffodil flowers

4/16: Excerpt & Giveaway at Stories from the Past

4/17: Excerpt at My Jane Austen Book Club

4/18: Excerpt & Review at The Ardent Reader

4/19: Excerpt & Giveaway at Diary of an Eccentric

4/20: Interview & Giveaway at Austenesque Reviews

4/21: Review at Half Agony, Half Hope

4/22: Guest Post at Babblings of a Bookworm

4/25: Review at Just Jane 1813

4/26: Guest Post at More Agreeably Engaged

4/28: Guest Post & Review at From Pemberley to Milton

4/29: Guest post at My Kids Led Me Back to Pride and Prejudice

 

19 Comments

Filed under 4 stars, Pride and Prejudice